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Zuosuo (Walking the tightrope)

Title: Zuosuo (Walking the tightrope)
Artist: Zhong Ling 鐘靈
Created: 4 December 1946
Media: cartoon (from woodblock print)
Source: Jeifang Ribao

Zhong Ling was one of the most prolific of Yan'an artists to emerge from the Chinese Civil War as a caricaturist of Chiang, and continued to lampoon the Nationalist leader into the 1950s. The facial features found in this image were typical of Zhong's depictions of Chiang, as was the glistening, oversized head. In this comment on what the CCP saw as Chiang's fault in fighting the Communists rather than negotiating with them, Chiang is seen collapsing under the weight of the banner he carries (which reads 'persevere with the dictatorial civil war), as the pillars of the national economy collapse around him.

Of importance here is that images of this nature, first produced as woodblock prints in Communist controlled areas in the north, were commonly distributed via newspapers in the early post-WWII era.